How to Rewind and Remove Film from the Nikon FM2

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 24, 2021
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Nikon FM2 Unload Film

This page will cover all of the steps needed to rewind and remove a roll of film from the Nikon FM2. If you need help with loading film into the camera see this step-by-step guide on how to load film into the Nikon FM2.

How to Rewind Film

Time needed: 1 minute.

Here are all the steps you need to follow to successfully rewind film from your Nikon FM2.

  1. Unlock the film take-up spool.

    Find and press the small silver button on the bottom of the Nikon FM2. It is located next to where a motor drive can couple with the camera.

    Nikon FM2 Unlock Take-Up Spool

  2. Fold the lever out from the film rewind knob.

    Fold the rewind lever.
    Nikon FM2 Film Rewind Lever

  3. Wind the film back into the canister.

    Rotate the lever clockwise to wind the film back into the 35mm canister. You will be able to feel some resistance as you wind.
    There will be a reduction in the resistance once the film has been completely rewound into the film canister. You can make a few extra rotations to make sure all the film is in the canister.

  4. Unlock and pull up on the film rewind knob.

    Slide the lock on the side of the film rewind knob and then pull up on the knob. The film door will pop open. Leave the knob in the raise position.
    Nikon FM2 Open Film Back

  5. Pull up further on the film rewind knob to remove the film canister.

    The film rewind knob is spring loaded in order to keep the 35mm film canister in place. Pull up slightly to completely retract the prongs. Once that is done you can pull it out or take advantage of gravity and tip the canister out.
    Nikon FM2 Remove 35mm Film Canister

  6. Load another roll of film.

    Now is the best time to load another roll of film into the camera. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to load film into a Nikon FM2.

    If you don't have another roll of film, you can just close the back of the camera. For long-term storage, remove the batteries so they do not leak and corrode the battery contacts.

Where to get your film developed?

There are 3 different ways you can get your film developed.

Develop the Film Yourself

The least expensive and most involved way to develop your film is to do it yourself at home. This is what I prefer to do.

You will need some inexpensive equipment and a way to scan your negatives or slides.

Developing film yourself is definitely worthwhile as long as you are consistently shooting film. If you are only going to occasionally shoot film, mailing it to a lab is going to be less expensive.

Mail Your Film to a Professional Lab

There are many photo labs that offer mail in developing and scanning services. What's nice is that you'll get your film scanned using a high-end scanner. This is a big time saver.

Another important aspect is that you'll get your negatives or slides back from the lab. This will allow you to make prints in a darkroom or re-scan them in the future. Plus they act as a physical back-up.

Depending on the lab you choose, you can have the ability to select the machine that does the scanning and any profiles/corrections that get used.

You can also indicate if film has been pushed or pulled so that it can be processed correctly.

Here is a list of US photo labs that offer mail developing services. I have no affiliation with them and I have not used any of their services.

Find a Local Lab

A local lab is a good option as long as it is an independent professional photo lab. These are likely going to be limited to large cities.

The labs located in pharmacies or big box stores are the worst option as they no longer develop the film on location.

What happens is that the pharmacy or big box store will mail the film off to get developed by a third party. You will only receive digital copies of your images. You will not get your negatives or slides back.

Nikon FM2 Resources

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